Hope you've all got the ingridients for your Christmas cakes as I've already made mine and she's a beauty. I know it's still a while from Christmas but the earlier you have your cake baked the more time you have to soak it in booze :)
So first things first get all your ingridients out and measured so that you have them to hand.
220g unsalted butter
200g self raising flour
250g light brown sugar
4 eggs (beaten)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100g grounded almonds
150g glacier cherries
100g dried cranberries
150g fresh cranberries
100g dried apricots
50ml Cointreau (or brandy if you prefer)
1 orange juice and zest
1 tablespoon mixed spice
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Once you have all of your ingridients measured out and in bowls you'll find it a lot less messy and easier to bake.
1. Grease and line your baking tin at the bottom and around the edges so the the baking parchment comes over the top of the tin about 2 inches.
2. Pre heat your oven to 140 degrees and place the shelf in the middle of the oven. Place the cherries, dried fruits, cranberries, orange juice, zest and Cointreau in to a pan and simmer for 3-5 minutes until some of the liquid has evaporated. Then set aside to cool.
3. Place the hazelnuts into a NON OILED frying pan and gently heat until they start toasting 3-5 mins, be carful they don't over toast as this can happen quickly so keep an eye on them. Place on a plate to cool.
4. Place the softened butter, sugar and vanilla extract into an electric mixer or using a hand mixer and mix until light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten eggs then the flour, almonds, cinnamon and mixed spices and mix until all the ingridients have combined together.
5. Fold in the soacked fruits with the excess juice and the hazelnuts until they are well mixed into the batter, pour your mixture into the cake tin smoothing out the top so it bakes level the bake for 1 hour 30 minutes.
Use a clean skewer to check it is fully baked by piercing it into the middle of the cake and it should come out completely clean. If skewer has any wet cake mixture on it bake for another 8-10 minutes and repeat. Do not open your oven until the timer has gone off!! We do not want our cakes to sink.
6. Once your beautiful Christmassy cake has baked pierce the cake all over with a skewer and pour over 2-3 tablespoons of Cointreau, or brandy if that is what you used to soak the fruit in. Do this when the cake is warm then leave to cool completely in the tin. Once it's cooled completely wrap your cake in a double layer of baking parchment and then in tin foil to keep it secure. Place it into an air tight container and leave in a cool dry place (not the fridge). We're going to be feeding our cakes once every two weeks up until a week before decorating. To do this simply peel back the parchment to reveal the top of the cake then using a spoon, spoon 1-2 tablespoons of Cointreau (or brandy) over the top and wrap up again securely. Always make sure the lid the the container is closed fully to prevent the cake from drying out.
So there you have it, get baking!! I'll be going through what ingridients you need for decorating your Christmas cakes nearer the time.
Hope you enjoy baking your cake and fingers crossed it comes out well!!!
Happy baking lovelies :))
Megan and Jade x x